The Commonwealth

3:38pm

Thu September 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Fourth Fen-Phen Attorney Disbarred

A Lexington attorney has become the fourth attorney disbarred due to his involvement in a class-action lawsuit brought against the diet drug fen-phen.David Helmers had his law license revoked today after the Kentucky Supreme Court cited serious ethical violations in his conduct. He's also been ordered to pay $40,000 to cover the cost of the disciplinary proceedings against him.

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1:29pm

Thu September 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Bridge Boosters Join Federal Lawsuit

A federal judge has ruled that a group supporting the Ohio River Bridges Project can intervene in the lawsuit between the conservation group River Fields and the Federal Highway Administration. In May, Kentuckians for Progress filed a request to join the suit against the federal governmentas co-defendants to challenge  River Fields and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, who filed the suit two years ago. Preservationists claim the federal agency couldn’t justify portions of the bridges project, relied on misleading information, failed to adequately consider potential  impacts and did not prepare an updated environmental report.

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1:16pm

Thu September 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Belongings of Former First Lady on Auction Block

Eighty-nine lots of former Kentucky first lady Phyllis George's possessions will be auctioned off this weekend in Asheville, N.C. George approached the auction house to sell her collection, which includes quilts, paintings and Derby hats, said Karen Swager of Brunk Auctions. Most of the items were collected by George while she was Kentucky's first lady.

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1:14pm

Thu September 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Defense Team wants Hearing in Terror Case

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder declared in federal court records filed Tuesday that certain evidence in a terrorism case against two Iraqi refugees who had been living in Bowling Green would harm national security if disclosed publicly.

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4:28pm

Wed September 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

I-64 Bridge Inspection At Midpoint

Engineers say it will take another week-and-a-half to finish their inspection of the Sherman Minton Bridge.   Then they’ll be able to determine how long it will take to repair the bridge and re-open it to traffic. The bridge has been closed since September 9, when inspectors found a crack in a load-bearing support.  Now its getting a thorough examination to determine if there are other faults, and inspectors are on schedule to finish the job in about ten days.

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4:00pm

Wed September 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

Troubled Ohio River Bridges in Spotlight

Bearing the weight of Interstate-75. the aging Brent Spence Bridge (left) is the main link between Kentucky, Ohio and other points north.

Kentucky has big bridge problems. Cracks have closed the Sherman Minton Bridge in Louisville, which bears the weight of Interstate-64. Democrat Ben Chandler says it’s crippling daily commutes.  “The situation in Louisville is particularly troubling at the moment because one of the bridges has gone out recently and they have terrible traffic jams in Louisville right now,” said Chandler.  The Louisville Bridge is one of several Ohio River bridges causing trouble in the Commonwealth.  Loads on the Ironton-Russell Bridge in northeast Kentucky have been restricted.  Earlier this year, work crews in western Kentucky found a hole in a deck on the Owensboro Bridge.

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2:11pm

Wed September 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

Slot Machine Opponents want Investigation

The Family Foundation, a conservative group that opposes expanded gambling, is asking Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway to investigate Instant Racing machines now online at Kentucky Downs. 

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8:23am

Wed September 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

Gallatin County Sheriff Shot, Recovering

The sheriff of Gallatin County is recovering at home after a gunman opened fire on him late Tuesday during a domestic violence situation and then killed himself, according to Kentucky State Police. Sheriff Josh Neale, who is in his mid-to-late 30s, was shot in the abdomen just before 10:30 p.m. at a home on Kentucky 16 near Glencoe. He was airlifted to University Hospital, state police said in a prepared statement. He was treated and released just after 3 a.m. Wednesday.

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4:02pm

Tue September 20, 2011
The Commonwealth

Obama, LOU Mayor to Talk Bridges

LOUISVILLE — Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will have an opportunity to discuss the Sherman Minton Bridge situation with President Obama Thursday when the president visits the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati. The invitation for Fischer to join Obama came Tuesday from the White House, according to a press release from the mayor's office.

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2:20pm

Tue September 20, 2011
The Commonwealth

Evangelist Sentenced to 48 Months Fraud

LOUISVILLE – Ernest Cadick of Elizabethtown was sentenced to 48 months in prison, ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $719,650, and fined $1,600 in United States District Court Tuesday by Judge John G. Heyburn II.

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10:46am

Tue September 20, 2011
The Commonwealth

LOU Bridge Repairs Top Federal Priority

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer visited Washington D.C. Monday to discuss the closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge and was assured by a top official that it is the number one priority for the federal highway administration. The 50-year-old span was closed September 9 after cracks were discovered in some load-bearing supports. Engineers and highway inspectors are examining the bridge of the next two to three weeks to determine its future.

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4:39pm

Mon September 19, 2011
The Commonwealth

Gang Data Base Info Sought

With gang activity seen in communities across the Commonwealth, a western Kentucky prosecutor says it requires their full attention.  Prosecutors across Kentucky could benefit from a statewide data base that tracks the members of criminal gangs.  Police are already at work, expanding their existing criminal information network to include such gangs.  Christian County Commonwealth’s Attorney Lynn Pryor says the expanded system would only monitor confirmed gang members.

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10:27am

Mon September 19, 2011
The Commonwealth

State Creates Web Page for Bridge Detours

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has created a web page with interactive maps to help travelers navigate Interstate-64 during the closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge between Louisville and New Albany, Ind.  The web page features three interactive maps that illustrate recommended alternative routes. The link is www.transportation.ky.gov/sherman-minton-bridge.

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2:54pm

Sun September 18, 2011
The Commonwealth

Tile in the Bluegrass

A national tile company is completing a move from the Sunshine State to the Bluegrass State.  Florida Tile will expand its corporate headquarters, which are in Lexington.  25 new hires will handing information technology, marketing and financial services.  It’s expected to grow to 50 over the next several years.  Florida Tile also has a factory and distribution center in Lawrenceburg that employs over 100 workers.  These days, marketing director Sean Cilona says they’re making large porcelain tiles for commercial businesses.

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12:13pm

Sun September 18, 2011
The Commonwealth

Twitter Accounts Surge During Bridge Closure

The Sherman Minton Bridge closure has spawned a number of novelty Twitter accounts, including two for the bridge itself.  Jason Oberhausen is behind one of them, @smintonbridge64 (the others are @shermintbridge and @ucantcrossme). He says this is his first novelty account, and he hopes it adds levity to a serious event.

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12:07pm

Sun September 18, 2011
The Commonwealth

How to Avoid Louisville's Traffic Congestion

Central Kentuckians planning on driving to Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis or other points west and northwest over the coming months will probably want to give their planned routes a second glance before heading out. The emergency shutdown of the Interstate 64 Sherman Minton Bridge that spans the Ohio River between Louisville and New Albany, Ind., could put a serious snarl in the typical paths taken from Lexington to some major cities.

11:59am

Sun September 18, 2011
The Commonwealth

Henderson Firms Dealing with Bridge Closure

Hendersonians know something about bridge problems, such as when a wreck, construction, a barge strike or a routine inspection creates lane closure on the U.S. 41 Twin Bridges. But now, an emergency closure of a bridge two hours away -- the Interstate 64 bridge over the Ohio River at Louisville -- and the possibility that it could remain shut down for several months or longer is impacting travelers and businesses alike from Henderson.

3:14pm

Fri September 16, 2011
The Commonwealth

Other LOU Bridges in Good Shape

LOUISVILLE – The two bridges that remain open between Louisville and Southern Indiana show no structural problems from the extra traffic they are carrying since the forced closure of the Interstate-64 Sherman Minton Bridge last weekend, Kentucky bridge inspectors have found.

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9:24am

Fri September 16, 2011
The Commonwealth

Health-Wellness Clinic for Lexington City Workers

Lexington officials are looking at a variety of ways to reduce health care related costs.  Plans for a new health and wellness center for city workers, their families, and retirees were spelled out Thursday.  It would be a voluntary and no co-pays would be required.  Health consultant, David Dermers says the service would not take business away from doctors.

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4:47pm

Thu September 15, 2011
The Commonwealth

Meth Labs on the Increase

Commonwealth's Attorneys from left to right: Lynn Prior, Chris Cohron, Jackie Steele testifying in Frankfort
Stu JOhnson Weku

Prosecutors maintain methamphetamine production in Kentucky is up and deserves further legislative attention.   Last year, the legislature refused to enact restrictions on the sale of a prime ingredient. Chris Cohron,  who’s president of the Kentucky Commonwealth’s Attorneys Association, reports  the number of meth labs is up 20 percent this year.  And, the Warren County prosecutor says that figure only reflects four-fifth of Kentucky’s counties.

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12:46pm

Thu September 15, 2011
The Commonwealth

Idea Fest becomes Center of LOU Government

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and his staff are relocating their offices to the IdeaFestival next week to help promote the annual event and encourage innovative thinking. Founded in 2000, the three-day festival is setup to bring people from around the world to the city with diverse backgrounds, knowledge and perspectives on various cutting-edge ideas. The topics range from cooking to government to technology, and has been one of the more popular local events over the past decade.

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8:58am

Thu September 15, 2011
The Commonwealth

Australian Man Wants Extradition

The Australian man accused of strapping a fake bomb around the neck of an 18 year-old woman is waiving the extradition process in hopes of getting back to his home country sooner. Paul Douglas Peters entered the courtroom in leg shackles and a thick black-and-white striped Oldham County jail jumpsuit. Kentucky District Court Judge Dave Whalin confirmed with Peters what he was giving up by waiving his rights to have a full extradition hearing, which was scheduled for Oct. 14. 

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1:00pm

Wed September 14, 2011
The Commonwealth

Yarmuth Discusses Bridge on Maddow

Sounding the alarm about the country’s infrastructure needs, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., appeared on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show Tuesday to discuss the closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge.  The sudden closure of the bridge last week has rerouted thousands living in Louisville and southern Indiana, who’ve had to find an alternate route across the Ohio River. During the show, Yarmuth challenged Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who is also from Louisville, to talk to motorists about what’s been locally dubbed “Shermageddon”.

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12:57pm

Wed September 14, 2011
The Commonwealth

Vandals Damage Dozens of Vehicles

Many Danville residents woke Wednesday morning to find their vehicles marked with orange spray-paint. Assistant Police Chief Tony Gray said at least 50 vehicles were vandalized overnight and reports were continuing to come in throughout the morning.

10:48am

Wed September 14, 2011
The Commonwealth

Disaster Relief Tools Stolen in Livingston

The Livingston County Sheriff's Department is investigating the theft of several thousand dollars worth of tools and equipment belonging to the Ohio River Baptist Association's Disaster Relief Team. The tools were stolen from the association's property on Main Street in Salem. The majority of the tools and equipment were donated to the association, which is instrumental in assisting communities with storm cleanup and rebuilding during times of disaster such as ice storms and recent flooding.

10:33am

Wed September 14, 2011
The Commonwealth

Owensboro Blue Bridge Repairs on Schedule

The summer-long rehabilitation of the Blue Bridge across the Ohio River in downtown Owensboro is proceeding on schedule, and the bridge should reopen in about three weeks, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet reported Tuesday.

10:28am

Wed September 14, 2011
The Commonwealth

Bus Crash Survivors Against Alcohol Sales

Carrollton bus crash survivors lent their voices Tuesday to the opposition of expanded alcohol sales. Lincoln Trail Baptist Church and two survivors of the 1988 Carrollton bus crash held a news conference opposing the pursuit of expanded alcohol sales in Hardin County. A special election to vote on the issue is Oct. 4.

10:22am

Wed September 14, 2011
The Commonwealth

Ballot Printing Continues in Kenton Co.

Judge Gregory Bartlett

A drive to reduce taxes by axing the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission was dealt a blow Tuesday in Kenton Circuit Court. Judge Gregory Bartlett denied a request to issue an emergency injunction stopping the printing of November's ballot until Kenton County Clerk Gabrielle Summe uses a different method to validate signatures on a petition seeking to disband the commission. Paul Metzger, who asked for the injunction, could continue through litigation to get more signatures validated, but it's unlikely the measure will make it on November's ballot. The deadline to send it to the printer is Monday.

10:05am

Wed September 14, 2011
The Commonwealth

FEMA Opens Disaster Recovery Center

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials have opened a disaster recovery center in Knox County. FEMA officials have opened the new center at First Baptist Church Artemus, located at 3085 KY Highway 225, a week after individual assistance for the area was approved.

2:20pm

Tue September 13, 2011
The Commonwealth

Bridge Closure Spawns Ferry Service

The “Spirit of Jefferson” boat will shuttle residents across the Ohio River beginning Wednesday morning. This is in response to the indefinite Sherman Minton Bridge closure. The shuttle will cost $1 dollar each way and will initially operate on weekdays for the next two weeks. Linda Harris is the CEO of the Spirit of Jefferson and the Belle of Louisville. Harris says the ferry could be expanded if it proves popular.

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